Kayanza: Women’s rights not fully respected

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day which was celebrated on 8 March in Kayanza, some women from that province deplore the fact that their husbands mistreat them. Some say they are physically abused while others accuse their husbands of having concubines.

Kayanza women holding parade on the celebration of the International Women’s Day

Kayanza women holding parade on the celebration of the International Women’s Day

“Some women and I are suffering the behavior of our husbands. We seem to be abandoned. They make young girls their concubines. My husband, for instance, no longer pays basic familial needs. He uses his money to take care of his concubines,” says Marguerite Nahimana, inhabitant of Gitaramuka, Kayanza province.

She regrets that husbands are not punished even if women lodge complaints to local authorities. “Men are accomplices,” she says. For Nahimana, no one can say women’s rights are respected in Kayanza. “They also abuse us physically” she deplores.

This view is shared by Speciose Singirankabo, who deplores the fact that women cannot be emancipated if they are not empowered. “Women are responsible for ensuring their familial needs, paying school fees for children. Husbands do not care about their family needs. Even if we increase the agricultural production, they sell foods we produce arguing that we plant crops in their fields,” says Singirinkayo.

Aisha Mpawenimana accuses Muslim husbands of marrying many women they are not able to take care of, pretending that their religion allows them to have four wives. “There is not any Quran verse that stipulates that a man is allowed to have many wives. Unfortunately, they are not prosecuted if we bring them to justice,” says Mpawenimana.

On the occasion of the International Women’s Rights, Anicet Ndayizeye, the governor of Kayanza said that women in Kayanza province are still mistreated by their husbands since the latter have concubines while others become drug addicts. He calls on men and women to redouble their efforts to fight for women’s rights.

The governor of Kayanza said he is conducting campaign launched by the Burundi government to legalize marriages of common-law couples to solve Kayanza women’s problems. “90% out of 2300 common-law couples listed have legalized their marriages,” said the governor of Kayanza. He believes that 900 common-law couples remaining are going to legalize them very soon.